EBRD and Bosnia and Herzegovina team up to improve investment climate

By Axel  Reiserer

EBRD and Bosnia and Herzegovina team up to improve investment climate

Government and Bank agree to launch Investment Climate and Governance Initiative

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is teaming up with the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to step up the pace of economic reform in the country, paving the way for more robust economic growth by improving the investment climate and promoting good economic governance.

Under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the EBRD will support a range of initiatives to improve Bosnia and Herzegovina’s attractiveness to investors and help re-energise its economic transition. The MoU has been signed today by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers Mirko Šarović and the EBRD’s Vice President for Policy and Partnerships Pierre Heilbronn at the Western Balkans Investment Summit at the EBRD’s Headquarters in London.

Elsewhere in the Western Balkans, the EBRD has signed similar accords with Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia aimed at improving the investment climate, strengthening economic governance and boosting private sector development.

Vice President Heilbronn said, “This is a very important step that we are taking together. It is only by keeping up the pace and intensity of reform that Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to achieve the sustainable economic growth that the country needs to raise the quality of life for its people.”

Under the Investment Climate and Governance Initiative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD will aim to improve the legal environment, helping to strengthen dispute resolution mechanisms, improve public procurement practices, tackle informality and enhance transparency in the public and corporate sectors.

The authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina have expressed their commitment to improvements in the investment climate and to governance reform through the adoption of the Reform Agenda which sets out the country’s plans for reform over the coming years. They have asked specifically for the EBRD’s support in achieving this ambition.

One key element in the EBRD’s contribution to this joint programme is its support to the authorities in the creation of an Investment Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, providing a platform for dialogue between the private and public sectors with the ultimate aim of leveraging the private sector’s experience in successfully driving forward policy reform.

The EBRD has already supported the establishment of Investment Councils in several other countries where it invests, bringing together high-level government officials, business associations and multilateral agencies and supported by donor funding.

Supporting governments such as Bosnia and Herzegovina’s in increasing transparency, good governance and healthy competition is at the core of the Bank’s Investment Climate and Governance Initiative launched in 2014.  

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bank focuses on enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector, promoting the commercialisation of public utilities, and supporting the privatisation of viable state-owned enterprises, as well as supporting the development of key cross-border transport and energy links and scaling up energy efficiency and renewable energy generation.